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  1. #1

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    Default hard drive woes

    I'm hoping that the assembled IT contractor Illuminati may pass on some festive guidance to a fellow contractor who barely knows one end of a computer from the other.

    My laptop (a three year old HP Notebook 15-AF112NA) wouldn't shutdown. I buttoned it only to find that it wouldn't then start up. I ran the startup diagnostic tool which aborted when it discovered :

    Hard Drive Short DST Check : FAILED
    Code: QC6EX3-87K9SQ-XD7X6J-60SK03

    Everything up till that point (processor, system board and Hard drive SMART check) had passed.

    I backed up my files about 3 weeks ago but I'd like to pull some more recent files off it before probably buying another cheap laptop to last me another 3 years.
    I understand that my best course of action is to purchase a SATA to USB lead and try and plug the failed drive into another computer.

    Looking at the product spec, it is a 2.5" drive.
    Some questions:
    - Is it worth trying to create a boot ISO on a USB stick and boot from that?
    - Is there anything else worth trying?
    - Do I need the powered version of the SATA to USB lead or will the unpowered version be fine?
    - When you plug in a hard drive to a USB port, does it show as any other removable drive would?

    Any guidance much appreciated. Thanks.

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by sludgesurfer View Post
    I'm hoping that the assembled IT contractor Illuminati may pass on some festive guidance to a fellow contractor who barely knows one end of a computer from the other.

    My laptop (a three year old HP Notebook 15-AF112NA) wouldn't shutdown. I buttoned it only to find that it wouldn't then start up. I ran the startup diagnostic tool which aborted when it discovered :

    Hard Drive Short DST Check : FAILED
    Code: QC6EX3-87K9SQ-XD7X6J-60SK03

    Everything up till that point (processor, system board and Hard drive SMART check) had passed.

    I backed up my files about 3 weeks ago but I'd like to pull some more recent files off it before probably buying another cheap laptop to last me another 3 years.
    I understand that my best course of action is to purchase a SATA to USB lead and try and plug the failed drive into another computer.

    Looking at the product spec, it is a 2.5" drive.
    Some questions:
    - Is it worth trying to create a boot ISO on a USB stick and boot from that?
    - Is there anything else worth trying?
    - Do I need the powered version of the SATA to USB lead or will the unpowered version be fine?
    - When you plug in a hard drive to a USB port, does it show as any other removable drive would?

    Any guidance much appreciated. Thanks.
    Is the drive encrypted? Most OS turn that on be default, if so it's going to be a lot more difficult than you hope
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    ― Marcus Aurelius

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by SimonMac View Post
    Is the drive encrypted? Most OS turn that on be default, if so it's going to be a lot more difficult than you hope
    I have no idea. There was certainly no additional password requirements when I booted up other than the windows 10 password and I don't remember seeing anything during startup suggesting it was decrypting (?)

    I guess I won't know until my lead arrives and I try and plug it in....?

  4. #4

    Prof Cunning @ Oxford Uni

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    Is it solid state?
    What OS are you running?
    Can you get into the firmware to change the boot sequence?

    Years ago I used Feather Linux, but that's been discontinued.
    Find a suitable portable Linux, change the boot sequence to boot off that, then see if you can see anything on the drive.
    If that doesn't help then an external cable and a disk recovery tool may do the trick - I use a Lexar one. Plug the drive in to a working computer, then leave it to see what it can get off it.
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  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by WTFH View Post
    Is it solid state?
    What OS are you running?
    Can you get into the firmware to change the boot sequence?

    Years ago I used Feather Linux, but that's been discontinued.
    Find a suitable portable Linux, change the boot sequence to boot off that, then see if you can see anything on the drive.
    If that doesn't help then an external cable and a disk recovery tool may do the trick - I use a Lexar one. Plug the drive in to a working computer, then leave it to see what it can get off it.
    I've had to google some of those words....that's the level of intellect your dealing with here....please get the sock puppets out.

    I was running windows 10. It is not a solid state drive. I could get into the boot sequence screen where I am able to specify booting from a removable drive. I have not tried that yet as I'm on an oil platform with a pish internet connection and the windows 10 ISO is a 8Gb download so I may have to wait till I'm back on the beach for that one.....and to try and buy a feathery linux from the feathery linux farmer.
    Last edited by sludgesurfer; 13th December 2019 at 14:14.

  6. #6

    Prof Cunning @ Oxford Uni

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    Quote Originally Posted by sludgesurfer View Post
    I've had to google some of those words....that's the level of intellect your dealing with here....please get the sock puppets out.

    I was running windows 10 and I could get into the boot sequence screen where I am able to specify booting from a removable drive. I have not tried that yet as I'm on an oil platform with a tulipty internet connection and the windows 10 ISO is a 10Gb download so I may have to wait till I'm back on the beach for that one.....and to try and catch a feathery linux.

    OK, don't bother trying a Windows ISO. Get a portable Linux - such as Damn Small Linux - it runs to a whole 50MB. Damn Small Linux, Download the ISO
    But yes, maybe wait until you're on dry land.
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    Thanks.

    When I try to download the file from the hyperlink 4.11.RC2, there are 6 files. Three are .iso and three are .txt

    Do I need to put all of these on my Formatted USB stick?

    I'm assuming I then change the boot order in the BIOS setup, install the USB and restart the machine?

  8. #8

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    Solved: HP laptop Start-Up Test - Hard Disk Short DST Failed - HP Support Community - 5956724

    Try the steps suggested there before messing around with bootable ISOs. If you’re lucky the drive software has crashed and a reboot of the drive will recover it.


    If the hard drive is physically failed then you need to send it off to a specialist recovery company. It’ll cost £500+ depending on how much data. Experience tells me that individuals never pay this and on that basis I refuse to attempt it for them. Is the data isn’t worth £500 then I don’t see why I should recover it for them. If encrypted they’re going to need the keys so you’ll need to send them the entire laptop and the password used.

    If the controller is fried then it *might* be possible to buy an identical drive and swap the controller. The encryption key is stored on the TPM chip so this method will deal with that.
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    Thanks - No joy with the reset described in the link. It seems to start an "automatic repair" then after about 5 minutes won't boot with a black screen

    Appreciate the help. I'll try the SATA to USB route on another machine and then mess around with ISOs

  10. #10

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    This is a long shot but try taking the battery out, and putting it back in, and see if this makes any difference. I've had laptop faults where this has done the trick.

    Also, try it on the mains just in case the battery is low.

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